The Baha'i Community, Human Rights, and the Construction of a New Iranian Identity

Human rights and Iranian identity

What does it mean to be Iranian? What does it mean to be a human being? These are the questions confronting the Iranian people at this crucial juncture in their long history. In the incredible and unforgettable scenes that have unfolded in the streets of Tehran, and Isfahan, and Shiraz, and Tabriz, and Mashhad, and Ahvaz, and every other city and town in Iran, we are witnessing a struggle far greater than a mere political contest between different presidential candidates. We are witnessing a struggle for the soul of the nation; a struggle to build a new identity for the Iranian people. The encounter between the protesters and their tormentors is an encounter between the dark past and the bright future. It is an encounter between violence and non-violence, between the courage of those that are willing to sacrifice their lives for justice, and the cowardice of those that savagely beat and murder the defenseless. It is an encounter between the best and worst potentials inherent in humankind.

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